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The Benefits of Exfoliation: What You Need to Know

Benefits of Exfoliation

What does exfoliate mean in practical terms? Take off dead skin for more of the same dead skin underneath? Why would you bother?

Practically speaking, exfoliation is recommended prior to hair removals like shaving and waxing. It clears buildup from your pores and loosens any trapped hair follicles.

It can help tackle how to get rid of textured skin, with some natural scrubs gentle enough for regular use with certain skin conditions. If your problem is something like a callus, rough elbows, or feet, exfoliation can reduce feel and appearance both immediately and over time.

Gently exfoliating your face can be an excellent way to potentially curb breakouts, by removing dirt and sweat along with dead skin, which bacteria consider a feast. Admittedly, this can be achieved with cleansing alone, but a little exfoliation also promotes blood flow for a glowing complexion, removes excess oil, and tames flakiness.

Are There Risks to Exfoliating?

There aren’t many risks; exfoliating isn’t dangerous. But excess exfoliation can lead to red, irritated skin. It is possible to give yourself a mild rash with products or scrubbing that is too harsh or extended, although such an occurrence isn’t common with regular use.

Excess exfoliation can also lead, ironically, to rough, dry skin. This is because it strips oil and moisture away, and your newly exposed skin will have to replenish it. If you exfoliate every day, it never gets a chance to do so. And feet, as an example, generally produce much less oil, so it is important to moisturize afterward to help your skin along regardless.

A caveat for those who are pregnant or nursing is that they may want to avoid beta-hydroxy acids (discussed below) -- consult your obstetrician for up-to-date info.

How to Exfoliate the Body

How to get the dead skin off your face is a little different than how to get it off your legs. The skin on the face is thinner and more sensitive -- plus if something were to go wrong, it’s not like you can just put on a long-sleeved shirt and call it a day. Consequently, there are more options for bodily exfoliation than facial.

Exfoliation Choices

There are two exfoliation methods: chemical and mechanical.

Chemical exfoliation relies on organic alpha-hydroxy acids, such as glycolic (sugar derived), tartaric (fruit derived), and citric (citrus derived), or beta-hydroxy acids like salicylic (still organic and derived from salicin, which is found in the bark of willow trees). Alpha-hydroxy acids are suitable for casual use, while beta-hydroxy acids penetrate more deeply and are better suited for acne and sun damage. Chemical exfoliant products are sometimes called peels or masks in the extreme, but these exfoliating acids are found in all sorts of skincare formulas, so they could be a serum, tonic, cream, or lotion.

Mechanical exfoliation is friction-based. Products called scrubs use small gritty particles like sugar, coffee, or salt, and exfoliating soap bars could include oat flakes, ground nutshells, or fruit seeds. You can also take mechanical exfoliation literally into your own hands with:

  • a plain old washcloth, sponge, or loofah
  • pumice stones
  • skin brushes
  • exfoliating gloves

Exfoliation Tips and Guidelines

  • So how to get rid of dead skin on your face? The strongest mechanical exfoliation you should use is a gritty scrub and possibly a damp washcloth. Different chemical exfoliants can also work for any skin type but are the best option to effectively combat flaking.
  • The rest of the body can handle more aggressive tactics. Feet especially may have an excess of dry, rough skin, and you can use a combination of stronger methods to get them soft and keep them that way. Terracotta foot scrubbers are a hardy alternative to regular pumice or sharp heel scrapers.
  • Full body scrubs are available as pampering spa treatments or products you can just buy to apply in the shower. Skin brushes, gloves, and loofahs can help massage them in and rinse them away, but a pumice stone should probably be used alone or after a mildly exfoliating bar of soap. (Pumice stones should be used after cleansing the skin because otherwise, it is more likely to scrub away soap and surface dirt than the skin you’re targeting.)
  • Rub your skin with gentle but firm circular motions, being careful not to linger too long in any one spot. If you have a problem area, a second pass could be beneficial after a couple of cooldown minutes. Backs and butt cheeks need love too, so reach on back there as well.
  • Unless directions state otherwise, perform mechanical exfoliation on damp skin to deter undue abrasion (the exception could be a soft skin brush). Don’t exfoliate broken or inflamed skin. Don’t leave chemical exfoliants on for much longer than advised.
  • And finally, normal to dry skin only needs exfoliation once or twice a week. Maybe you could get away with three times if you moisturize very well. Oily skin might need a bit more exfoliation overall, but every day would be overkill, so just perform as needed. For any skin type, stop if there is an adverse reaction.

How the VibroSculp Can Enhance Exfoliation

NAlthough exfoliation isn’t strictly necessary (and you can certainly have too much of a good thing), it’s a simple and refreshing addition to shower routines everywhere. The VibroSculpt helps maximize daily exfoliation thanks to its soothing massage motion which is enhanced even further with our specially-designed beauty towels for skin. The VibroSculpt can also be used in combination with your favorite scrubbing lotion or oil, for optimal exfoliation that will result in more radiant, smoother skin. The best part is that exfoliation with the VibroSculpt is not something you have to do daily, so you’ll never really feel bad for “skipping” a session. Pick back up the next time, and you’ll be amazed to see what comes off.